All of us gals, I am sure, from one time to another have stirred our way into the thick of an inner battle between “eat it and enjoy it” vs “eat it and pay for it.” The rotund little devil on the left whispering sweet nothing commands, like “the chocolate batter on the spatula will taste like heaven, it is only a little, less than a cookie’s worth, it won’t encourage you to lick the whole bowl clean and you know you’ll work out later which will burn it all off.” The lean little angel on the right barking out instructions: “do not touch it, sure it will taste good, but you know you won’t be able to stop at just one little spoonful and you will feel bad about the sugar high ride you embarked on when you think about all that it could do to your hips.”
Since I am a good little soldier who marches her way into the kitchen frequently and since that pudgy little she-devil often wins out over the slim angel, who in my mind looks like Gwyneth Paltrow, I have had to come up with a new strategy. This new strategy is: healthy baking. There is no battle when what I am whipping up is low-cal and good for me. I can graze away without a peep from either side of the line.
I am kicking off this ceasefire with granola bars that come out just like the chewy kind from the box, but just so much tastier. And so open to interpretation, add whatever you would like: a little almond butter, or peanut butter, or marshmallows (that may be the devil getting her two cents worth) but still, they are adaptable. And at just 120 calories per bar (minus the marshmallows) you can dig in with delight.
Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars
Adapted from One Smart Cookie
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of random cupboard love – I used almonds, raisins, chocolate chips, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds to make up my cup
1 1/2 cups rice krispies
1 cup quick oats
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
In a medium-large sauce pan, combine the butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add ‘random cupboard love,’ krispies, oats and flaxseed. (If using chocolate chips stir everything else in first, allow to cool for 1-2 minutes and then add in so they don’t melt). Press into an ungreased 8×8 pan and place in the fridge to cool for about half an hour. Remove from fridge once cool and cut into 12. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.